Clinical Trainings

Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

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Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Clinical Training in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

The clinical training offered by NSCAP is commissioned by NHS England. It is accreditated by the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP). This is a doctoral level training that is run in partnership with the Tavistock Centre, and validated by the University of Essex.

Trainees undergo a rigorous training within a four-year salaried trainee child and adolescent psychotherapy post in a North of England Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service, (CAMHS) within an NHS Trust, at times linking with specialist services such as Parent Infant Mental Health or Children Looked After, or third sector organisation providing child and adolescent mental health services.  The training develops clinical expertise, senior professional leadership functioning and research skills needed to prepare trainees for work in the NHS as a registered ACP Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist.

Child and adolescent psychotherapy is a graduate entry profession. All applicants to the clinical training must have completed a recognised course of study in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies.  Training in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies lays the foundations training. It also provides an opportunity for assessment of personal suitability for psychoanalytic work with children and young people.  

Applicants are encouraged to seek out personal psychoanalytic/psychodynamic analysis/psychotherapy prior to application and can receive guidance about this within their observational studies courses. A cornerstone of the training is an intensive training analysis (four times per week sessions). With support from NSCAP a successful training candidate is required to source an ACP accredited training analysis before the start and for the duration of the training. Trainees are encouraged to consider continuing in analysis beyond the training as well. A significant amount, but not all the funding is available for training analysis during the training.

Child Psychotherapy trainees must have substantial prior experience of working with children and adolescents. This experience may have been gained in a wide range of settings, including health, education and social care.  Information on the profession of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, Clinical Training at Northern School and how to apply for the training, is contained in the downloadable information leaflet on the right of this page.

Our annual Clinical Training Open Evening 2023-24 will be taking place on Thursday 9th November 2023.  If you would like to attend, please email with your name, contact details, details of which pre-requisite course you've completed and whether you're in your final year of study or have completed.  Please note, you must meet the pre-clinical requirements to attend the event at the point that you are intending to start the training.

Applications for 2024-25 will open on 1st December 2023.  The closing date for applications will be Sunday 21st January 2024.


Apply here

See below for FAQ's.




FAQ's - Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Child Psychotherapy Clinical Training

Am I eligible for the Child Psychotherapy Training?
All candidates must have completed a course of studies in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies or equivalent as this is the pre-clinical requirement for training.  Further information about this can be found on the ACP website.  A Psychoanalytic Observational Studies is provided by NSCAP and is a postgraduate part time course, usually completed over 2-3 years.  Those students interested in training are encouraged to meet with their Observation Course tutor to discuss their intention to apply for the training and any need they may have for additional experience to meet entry requirements prior to application.

Applicants who have undertaken an equivalent Psychoanalytic Observational Studies course at another training establishment are welcome to apply to NSCAP for the training but may have to complete additional requirements prior to acceptance, e.g. an additional year of infant observation if only one year has been completed.

There are nationwide courses including those based in Birmingham, London, Belfast and Glasgow.
Candidates are required to have an honours degree and substantial experience of working with infants, children or adolescents. The Association of Child Psychotherapists Training Council sets out the requirements for training in child psychotherapy and monitors the quality of each training school’s delivery of the training. These requirements can be found on the ACP Website - Standards for Entry.

How many training posts are there?
The number of training posts have increases as NSCAP has been commissioned to provide more trainee places as part of the NHS Long Term Workforce Expansion Plan.  These posts are spread across the Yorkshire and Humber, the Northwest and the Northeast of England.

How many applications do you get for the training?  Is it competitive?
All applicants for the training programme must have completed the Psychoanalytic Observational Studies, and students on this course who wish to apply for the training are invited to meet with their Course tutor to discuss their intentions.  This naturally results in a specific pool of eligible applicants. The process of application and interviews is rigorous and competitive with accessbile opportuntiies for feedback and advice.

The application process itself is in two distinct parts:
Part 01:  Electronic application to M80N Leeds through the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust MyTap system. Applicants who are shortlisted are invited for two interviews at NSCAP and successful applicants in part 01 may take part in part 02:

Part 02: Submission of an NHS application for one or more of the NHS Trusts in the northern region that have been accredited by the school as providers of clinical training posts in child and adolescent psychotherapy. The Trusts will then interview the potential trainees in regional online panels. Successful candidates will be offered a training post within the NHS after discussion between the appointing NHS Trusts and NSCAP.

Commencement of the training post and employment is September of each year.

NB: acceptance onto the training with NSCAP (part 01) does not guarantee the succuessful application and achievement of an NHS training post. If applicants are unsuccessful in obtaining an NHS training post, they can reapply the following year. It is not possible to take up a place on the clinical training without a trainee child psychotherapy post in the NHS.

How many years will it take me to become a CAPt?
The Clinical and Research Training Programme lasts for 4 years. Trainees must first have completed the part time postgraduate PGDip/MA Psychoanalytic Observational Studies programme, which takes 2-4 years, depending on the level of intensity of study.

When is the application deadline for the clinical placements?
Applications for the clinical placements are accepted in January of each year – please see “Guidance for Trainees” document for more information on the application process.

Will I find a job after the training?
On qualification as a child and adolescent psychotherapist at NSCAP, trainees are eligible to become full members of the Association of Child Psychotherapists. They are entitled to apply for child and adolescent psychotherapy posts within the NHS in CAMHS or specialist settings. Occasionally newly qualified child psychotherapists take up generic posts within CAMHS, or work as child psychotherapists in social care or in the voluntary sector, although this is the exception rather than the rule.


MyTap Application Guidance

Guidelines for Trainees 2024